Exodus 7:1-5 is the fourth reiteration of God’s commands to Moses regarding Pharaoh and the Israelites, with the others being in Exod 3, 4:21-23, and 6:1-13. With these passages and the resulting plagues, readers have raised questions regarding God’s powerfulness and good nature. For example, if God is all-powerful and good, why does he not just liberate the Israelites immediately, instead of dragging it out through ten plagues while manipulating Pharaoh, seemingly exacerbating the general suffering of people and land? My proposed answer to these concerns lies in the focus of this passage, which is God’s relationship with the Egyptians. This is markedly different than previous passages where God’s relationship with the Israelites is the main focal point. Dwelling on the Egyptian perspective in framing the passage, I will argue that Exod 7:1-5 describes how God establishes his sovereignty in Egypt, an action that defeats the Egyptian gods and lays the groundwork for the redemption of the Egyptians through the liberation of the Israelites. For present day application, Exod 7:1-5 is evidence supporting that God’s sovereignty over creation, including human hearts, should not be looked upon as a threat to the human condition, and that God works for the salvation of all people, even when he initially appears to benefit certain groups and harm others.
"The Awakening of Knowledge in the Heart of Egypt: An Exegesis of Exodus 7:1-5,"
Vol. 7, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/globaltides/vol7/iss1/7